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Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder #524727
01/25/14 7:56 pm
01/25/14 7:56 pm
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 82
London, UK
A
Acebars Offline OP
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London, UK
I've been considering my options for my next project which will be a Norton or AMC bike and I've been thinking about changing the front brake (which will probably be an 8" Domi drum) for s GT550 4LS drum brake.

My only concern is I've heard that the 4ls brake is so heavy that it produces a lot of chatter and is really not worth mounting or investing in given the price and weight

Could anyone using this brake (with norton road holders would be great) let me know what they think of it?

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Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #524822
01/26/14 7:07 am
01/26/14 7:07 am
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,847
Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
Allan Gill Offline

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Allan Gill  Offline

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Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
Grandpaul uses this brake on some of his. It looks nice, but after trailing eBay and only finding a vast expense for something that will need complete refurbishment I'm going to look into the ater disc setups from the same bike


beerchug
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Allan Gill] #524824
01/26/14 8:22 am
01/26/14 8:22 am
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,113
Ottawa, Canada
gREgg-K Offline

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gREgg-K  Offline

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Ottawa, Canada
The Suzuki 4LS hub looks nice, and with one fitted you'll never have to worry about your bike doing a wheelie!

.. Gregg


Spyder Integrated Technologies
Lucas, BTH, & Miller Magneto & Dynamo Restoration
SMITHS Chronometric Restoration
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Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #524874
01/26/14 12:38 pm
01/26/14 12:38 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,973
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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The relative weight is not a major issue.

The relative stopping power is a major improvement.

The relative price may be a significant concern, unless you stumble across a deal. I sold a spare for $200.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Allan Gill] #524902
01/26/14 3:42 pm
01/26/14 3:42 pm
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 261
devon
K
kevin large Offline
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kevin large  Offline
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K
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Posts: 261
devon
I use a 320 disc and 4 pot calliper on mine and the stopping power is awesome

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #524921
01/26/14 6:37 pm
01/26/14 6:37 pm
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 82
London, UK
A
Acebars Offline OP
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Posts: 82
London, UK
I know disc setups are the best, but this is specifically about drums and the Suzy 550 4ls.

Quote:
The relative price may be a significant concern, unless you stumble across a deal. I sold a spare for $200.


Well I would quite happily buy one for such a price, the amount people are asking for them is ridiculous sometimes for the same or a little bit more one can buy a replica 9" Robinson 4ls here in the UK, which is half the weight and almost double stopping power.

Alas, I don't want a big drum brake and I don't need such excessive race performance.

What is more a 8" Triumph 2LS (not conical) has only marginally less stopping power than a suzy 4ls and can often be had for around $100 (+ shipping over to the UK etc.). I'm currently building one for one project but I want a better looking drum brake for the next project.

8" is the max size I'm after (resisting immature jokes grin ).

Anyway was told the GT550 is really a pig for weight and causes a lot of chatter just wanted to hear if anyone else has had this experience with them.

Last edited by Acebars; 01/26/14 6:42 pm.
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #525131
01/28/14 1:17 am
01/28/14 1:17 am
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 801
Brisbane, Australia
BrizzoBrit Offline

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BrizzoBrit  Offline

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Posts: 801
Brisbane, Australia
Acebars,

GT750 4LS brake hub complete (no spokes/no rim) = 20lbs (9kg), Norton Commando/Atlas/Domi SLS brake complete (no spokes/rim) = 13.9lbs according to some I weighed when I was making this decision. If concerned the GT750 brake can be put on a diet - search the web especially http://www.t20suzuki.com/racing.htm

For the GT750 brake you will need to trim the brake backing plates and fork legs as it is much wider than the existing space. IIRC I took out about 35mm all up. Also, some jiggery-pokey is required with the axle. I used the GT750 one had it turned down to fit the clamp and made a thin sleeve for the other side.

In any case the weight of the GT750/GT550 brake is up there

Of course discs can be made to look real nice and work much better. Depends on what you want (see below- GT750 in an 18" rim)

FWIW, a 4LS manx hub in aluminium = 8.75 kg (19.25lbs), magnesium = 7.65kg (16.8lbs). (from MPL http://www.manx.co.uk/pdf/MPL-Manx_Hubs_Data_Sheet.pdf)

Didnt know that Manxes had a chattering problem? Are you racing?




BSA 1969 A65F
BSA 1966 A65H
Triumph 1968 T120
Kawasaki A1R
& too many projects!
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #525154
01/28/14 7:36 am
01/28/14 7:36 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 82
London, UK
A
Acebars Offline OP
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Posts: 82
London, UK
Not racing, but would like an all around bike that I can take on a track if I felt like it, jack of all trades really.

I'm currently building a 69 Triumph 2ls for a special but it is an ugly brake imo and the gt550 is a better looker for sure.

I've been thinking about bolting two iron bsa/triumph 8" half hubs together to make 2 SLS (or 4ls with modification), removing weight from these is much simpler and the iron hub can take more weight removal than a cast alloy one.

Manx replicas have good weight but are really shocked expensive!

My top budget would cater for a Robinson 4ls, which is half the weight of a Gt550 and has superlative braking, alas it's such a big hub too big for what I'm after, big hubs only look good on race bikes not road bikes imo.


Last edited by Acebars; 01/28/14 7:44 am.
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #525189
01/28/14 10:45 am
01/28/14 10:45 am
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,962
Scotland
S
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,962
Scotland
Hi,

Originally Posted By: Acebars
My top budget would cater for a Robinson 4ls,

Talking of 4LS, I keep an eye on Grimeca/Ceriani suppliers for a triple special I have in my head. Talking of Grimeca/Cerianis and Robinsons, interesting site I found through a Google search that turned up a link in an Access Norton forum post.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #525416
01/29/14 9:37 pm
01/29/14 9:37 pm
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,930
Ohio
R
Rickman Offline
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Ohio
Originally Posted By: Acebars
which is half the weight of a Gt550 and has superlative braking, alas it's such a big hub too big for what I'm after, big hubs only look good on race bikes not road bikes imo.


Something about this statement I agree with, but applied to disc brakes: The discs I'm using are from early '70's, from Kaw H-2's. Not the later modern pinned/dowled discs? Nearly as large as the diameter of the rims? Upside down forks? Anti-dive equipped?

Some old bikes have thus equipped themselves, and some look pretty good, but it's a personal taste thing, and certainly not vintage....

I had 4 of the Suzi 4LS wheels/front ends, they ARE heavy! Sold 'em along some years ago. Even owned a GT550 for a short while...

The BEST brit front drum brake I've ever experienced, is the one on my '69 P-11 Ranger. That brake WORKS!
Every single BSA brake I've ever had was marginal at best...
Now, I LIKE all the Rickman brakes I've ever used, but those have all been in the dirt, 125 and 250's... Never have ridden a street Rickman to say yea or nay....

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #525498
01/30/14 12:52 pm
01/30/14 12:52 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,973
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
I still can't determine whether the Suzuki 4LS on the 550 is the same as the one on the 750; anyone know for sure?


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #525501
01/30/14 12:57 pm
01/30/14 12:57 pm
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 82
London, UK
A
Acebars Offline OP
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London, UK
Quote:
The BEST brit front drum brake I've ever experienced, is the one on my '69 P-11 Ranger. That brake WORKS!


Ah P-11 what a wonderful bike, I hadn't mentioned the next bike that I'm looking out to purchase and that's an N15/G15 CS something of a predecessor to the P-11, it'll be my first all British classic bike.

Having heard not the best reviews across the board of the Dommie SLS or 2ls plate Norton brake (even with upgrades such as stiffening kits etc.) I'm planning ahead for a front brake upgrade in keeping with the bikes looks.

Quote:
I still can't determine whether the Suzuki 4LS on the 550 is the same as the one on the 750; anyone know for sure?


They are the same but the 750 hub is something like 6mm wider (Source: countless e-mails and http://victorylibrary.com/brit/2LS-2.htm#GT750 )

Last edited by Acebars; 01/30/14 1:03 pm.
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: GrandPaul] #525577
01/30/14 10:05 pm
01/30/14 10:05 pm
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 90
san jose,ca.
D
Don P. Offline
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Don P.  Offline
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D
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 90
san jose,ca.
The 750 and 550 4ls are the same brake with one exception.They made
the 550 1/4" (6mm) narrower in order to fit the 550 forks

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #525633
01/31/14 11:51 am
01/31/14 11:51 am
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,973
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Then I have a 750 brake. I turned each side down just less than 1/4" to get the hub to fit the forks. I was wondering why the forks didn't want to compress when they were on the 550!


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #530953
03/01/14 11:14 am
03/01/14 11:14 am
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 626
B
bon Offline
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I have a gt750 front drum i was going to use on a triton when i was thinking of using a big twin engine, i have scrapped plans to use a twin and have instead decided to go with a slightly warmed up triumph t150 triple engine. Would the gt750 brake be up to the performance for a heavier and faster machine without fading ? I would ideally like to fit twin front discs if i could do it relatively cheaply.

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: bon] #531019
03/01/14 8:21 pm
03/01/14 8:21 pm
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,156
Winona, MN
Swan Offline

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Winona, MN
I run a GT550 4LS anchor on my Triton. Once tuned correctly it works very well and I do not get chatter. They are expensive but nowhere near the price of modern Italian or British drums. I have sold three GT 4LS for more than $400 each. Buchannan's has spoke kits and rims and new brake cables, pulls, brake shoes and levers are available on eBay (Paul Miller?)

Here is some additional information on Suzuki GT drums from the Victory Library including how to tune and lighten them.

Last edited by Swan; 03/01/14 8:24 pm.

1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #531040
03/01/14 11:06 pm
03/01/14 11:06 pm
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 626
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bon Offline
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bon  Offline
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Chatter with any brake suggests to me the drum is out of round , or that something is loose. Maybe incorrect lining material might produce the same sort of affect ?

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: bon] #531858
03/07/14 10:23 pm
03/07/14 10:23 pm
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 743
Overland Missouri
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old mule Offline
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Overland Missouri
AHRMA has for some time urged magnaflux inspection of Suzy 4LS hubs- they all are now old and many have been found to be cracked in the central web.
The back-to-back BSA and Triumph hub arrangement is used on vintage racing sidecars much heavier than any solo streetbike, more appropriate I'd say to our machines.
I wouldn't use a Suzy brake- I am leaving them to the restorers.

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #540416
04/29/14 8:13 am
04/29/14 8:13 am
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 182
bac o burk qld
dommie90 Offline
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bac o burk qld
newby
i once tried the suzi 750 tls on my dommie 99ss but the forks kept binding ,i tried every thing to get
them to work ,so i sold the complete front wheel only to find out later i was using the 7 inch triple
trees instead of the 7 3/8 triple trees

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #564758
09/24/14 12:52 pm
09/24/14 12:52 pm
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Posts: 40
Australia
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PatrickMcG Offline
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Australia
Use suzi 4LS hub in an 18 inch alloy rim. With well sorted road holders on triton 500 racer. Sensational brake. With no handling issues at all.

Re: Suzuki 4LS GT550 drum / Road holder [Re: Acebars] #565173
09/27/14 11:17 am
09/27/14 11:17 am
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,973
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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I think the overall performance of a reasonably clean and sorted 550/750 4LS brake is quite a good solution if a deal can be found. I'm still kicking myself for having sold off my spare, as it doesn't look like I'll ever find that good of a deal if I ever want another one (which is possible)

The trade-off in weight versus performance is worth it, unless you are all-out racing. The original post in this thread stated road use and occasional track days, the Suz 4LS is a good fit for that task.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"


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